The foundation of the American Dream is to have a home to call your own. Unfortunately, the booming housing market in previous years allowed too many individuals to buy a home that they could not afford with loans that were not appropriate given their financial circumstances. Today, those individuals are facing foreclosure and the surrounding communities are seeing drastic drops in property values and taxes. In order to reestablish confidence in the housing market, it is important for me and my colleagues in Congress to support policies that provide assistance to at-risk homeowners and relief to negatively impacted communities.
An important way to assist homeowners is to ensure that they have access to transparent information regarding mortgages and credit. I voted in favor of legislation creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent agency with a range of rulemaking, information-gathering, supervisory, and enforcement tools to regulate financial products such as mortgages and credit cards. I believe with adequate knowledge and protections, consumers can responsibly achieve the American dream of homeownership.
I will continue to focus on addressing foreclosures; an issue too many homeowners still face. Whether homeowners can no longer afford their monthly payments due to job loss or increasing adjustable rate mortgages, or they cannot sell their home because they owe more than it is worth, foreclosure rates may continue to rise for the near term. I will remain vigilant in finding solutions to avoid foreclosure and that continue to push for reforms to ensure that the American dream of owning a home remains attainable.
More on Housing
This week, I participated in virtual hearings for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the House Budget Committee, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. I also signed onto legislation to help ensure the short and long-term accessibility, safety, and affordability of housing. Additionally, I signed onto letters to promote clean air in communities across the country, extend the payroll support program, and to direct the Department of Justice (DOJ) to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during our current public health emergency.
This week, I traveled back to Washington D.C. to vote for important legislation to expand access and affordability to healthcare, provide housing and rental relief to homeowners and renters, and upgrade our country’s infrastructure. I also chaired a Western Hemisphere hearing on the Administration’s response to COVID-19 in Latin America, and attended a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Hong Kong.
(Washington, D.C.) – Last night, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) voted in favor of H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 232-180.
This week, the House of Representatives considered a fourth stimulus package, H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act. I pushed for the inclusion of critical policies in this legislation as well as future packages considered by Congress.
Last week, our community’s 2020 Census self-response rate rose 3 points to 48.1% of the 8th District. This is encouraging, but we still have plenty of work to do to catch up with New Jersey at 59.4% and the country at 57.7%. Millions of dollars in federal funding depend on each of our timely responses.
This week, I continued to work on the comprehensive elements of our government’s coronavirus response. The following is an overview of policies my colleagues and I support as Congress works on the next coronavirus legislative package.
Additionally, the 8th District remains behind the state and national self-response rates for the 2020 Census. As of this week, our community is only at 45% completion, trailing New Jersey at 56.3% and the country at 54.6%. To receive the millions of dollars in annual funding our community deserves, we all must do our part and be counted.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded grants to 8th District housing authorities to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The supplemental funding for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided new grants through the various channels available to public housing authorities, matching their standard federal allocations.
This week, the 116th Congress enters its second session and we will continue to build on the work we did in the first session. Over the last year, I have introduced and cosponsored numerous pieces of legislation, sent letters to government agencies and congressional committees, and attended hearings and conducted oversight through my work as a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the House Budget Committee.
(Washington, D.C.) – Hoy, el congresista Albio Sires (D-NJ) se unió al congresista David Price (D-NC) y miembros del Comité de Asignaciones, el Caucus Hispano del Congreso y otros miembros en una conferencia de prensa para presionar a la Administración a seguir la ley y liberar fondos de recuperación a Puerto Rico. Hace dos años, Puerto Rico sufrió dos huracanes consecutivos que causaron daños sin precedentes.
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) joined Congressman David Price (D-NC) and members of the Appropriations Committee, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and other members at a press conference to pressure the Administration to follow the law and release recovery funds to Puerto Rico. Two years ago, Puerto Rico suffered two back-to-back hurricanes that caused unprecedented damage. The U.S. Congress appropriated funds to aid Puerto Rico in its recovery over 660 days ago, partly through $10.2 billion in Community Development Block Grants for disaster recovery.
Last Week in Washington, I voted to raise the federal minimum wage, supported the introduction of legislation reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and met with the Mayor of Belleville. I met with stakeholders to discusses the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and worked with my colleagues on the Foreign Affairs Committee to authorize critical programming at the State Department for fiscal year (FY) 2020.